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No tickets to the Olympics? Five London parks offer the next best thing

Around London, alternative Olympic viewing sites offer locals and tourists a cheaper, crowd-free version of the Games.

Left: People relax on the grass at Victoria Park while watching field hockey on the big screen. Victoria Park is one of five "live sites" the city of London has provided where people can experience the Olympics without the Olympic price tag, free of charge.

Right: Those lucky enough to get tickets make their way through the crowds at Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: Visitors entering the Victoria Park Olympic venue go through security like those entering Olympic Park.

Right: The flip side is, they don't need a ticket, and they don't get the volunteers sporting foam fingers helping point the way, like visitors to Olympic Park do, shown at right. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: Boys buy ice cream from a vendor at Victoria Park.

Right: A girl holds on tightly to her Olympic mascot while standing among a crush of people inside the world's largest McDonald's in Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: A woman speeds by the 180-foot-tall observation wheel on a zip line in Victoria Park.

Right: A Goodyear blimp (with branding removed because Goodyear is not an official Olympic sponsor) soars over the Coca-Cola Beatbox, a pavilion inside Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: Just inside the entrance to the Victoria Park live site, visitors are greeted by a large, wheeled rubbish bin.

Right: A worker pushes a recycle bin in front of the Orbit, a 115-meter-high art structure in Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: With about 8,000 visitors a day, there's more than enough room to spread out on the grass in the shadow of the observation wheel in Victoria Park (Olympic Stadium can be seen behind the two tall buildings, upper-left).

Right: If you want to see the athletes in person, though, you've got to have a ticket for an event and then brave the 150,000 person crowd that enters Olympic Park every day. Jim Seida / NBC News, Carl Court / AFP-Getty Images
Left: Children play inside floating, inflatable spheres at Victoria Park.

Right: A semi-rigid inflatable boat operated by the metropolitan police makes its way down the Whau River in Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News
Left: Kate Martin (L) Jess Baker and Lucie Durand-Coutelle watch the men's 110 meter hurdles on the big screen in Victoria Park.

Right: Kim Van Liew, left, and Serwick, both from New Jersey, watch the women's synchronized swimming semi-finals inside the Aquatics center in Olympic Park. Jim Seida / NBC News